Prepare Your Wood Blanks for Storage

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by preeb, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Yes... They can be set very close to each other while still allowing a little air flow and ventilation between them (just enough for slow drying). It is also very easy to pull them out periodically to check how they are doing (-;
     
  2. Superc_1

    Superc_1 Tele-Meister

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    Since on the drying topic, I have a question for you pro's? I had some ash that I dried in the attic for about 30 years that I got when I was 18. I thought this make the wood become lighter with time but it didn't effect it that much, except one piece got set on top of a chest feezer for about a year after being in the attic for thirty years and that piece really became light and responsive. Anybody have and idea why this happen from sitting on the feezer?
     
  3. guityak

    guityak Tele-Meister

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    My guess: The warmth and vibration of the freezer somehow aided in settling the timber and drying off any remaining moisture.
     
  4. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Is that freezer for sale?
     
    Guy Lorshbaugh likes this.
  5. Marc Rutters

    Marc Rutters Tele-Afflicted Vendor Member

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    Freeze dried Telecaster, the next craze!
     
  6. olaftheholy

    olaftheholy Tele-Afflicted

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    [​IMG]

    I use this, it's made of beeswax and carnauba, for protecting unfinished wood

    €8.95 per bottle
     
  7. melomanarock

    melomanarock Tele-Holic

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    Hi Gil! I'm new around here but I've been following many builds for a couple of months and of course most of yours are my favorite..I'm sure you can't hear this enough.. the quality of every little detail is truly amazing..
    I do anyhow have a couple of questions if you don't mind.. How different is this process with the one you use for neck blanks? (other question is on the Paulownia bass so I'll post it in the right thread..
    Thanks man.. please keep it up for all of us!
     
  8. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Necks are cut down to size gradually. I do it in 3 steps while in storage:
    1) air dry the billets or boards for a couple of years (at least 1 years per 1" thickness)
    2) cut down the billet to square blanks and allow to stabilize for 1 year
    3) cut to rough neck shape and thickness and allow to stabilize for 30 days

    Additionally, I allow 30 days after fingerboard plane truing and repeat until it's stable.
     
  9. Reverend D

    Reverend D Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for sharing your knowledge Gil, most appreciated. Of course for me at this time I never have enough lumber to worry about. In the future though, this will truly come in handy. Once again thanks. Them hairdryers are some pretty handy tools, melting wax, bending binding and many other things. :D

    Regards,

    Don
     
  10. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, Preeb -- most useful!

    One question, though. Shellac is an excellent barrier to water
    vapor. Wouldn't it be faster, easier, and cheaper to use shellac
    instead of wax?

    Edit: I note that you mention flexibility as a virtue of wax, but
    is this a significant issue? If no vapor is entering the end grain,
    is there much chance of movement causing the shellac to crack?

    Double edit: It would be nice to know how to test alternative
    approaches.
     
  11. melomanarock

    melomanarock Tele-Holic

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    Thank you Gil.. there's no doubt building fine instruments is most about patience..
     
  12. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Must be beeswax. Yes... the flexibility is the key.
    The wood wants to split and move wherever it can and the end grain is a disaster area (-;
    I know some lumber yards and suppliers use oil based paint as well.
    I use wax because I found a cheap source from a beekeeper who's a good friend of the family... (-;
     
  13. Jason Jillard

    Jason Jillard Tele-Meister

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    hey preeb, i just got a TONNE of wood a few weeks ago and ive been cutting it up recently.

    this wood is from a barn about 100 years old, and it was stacked outside under a tarp (stacked so air could get all around it) for 3 years.

    its mostly maple and some pine.. you think this stuff is pretty much good to go?

    [​IMG]
     
  14. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Even old dry wood moves when cut.
    If you just sliced the neck blanks from a bigger billet, I'd let them sit for about a year and additional 30 days in your shop after rough shaping.
     
  15. photondev

    photondev Tele-Holic

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    thanks for another great lesson preeb

    does it make any difference in terms of wood type? - I recently bought an African mahogany blank, and the seller claims it has been drying for many years, I don't know yet when I start building a guitar with it, maybe within the next three months, do you recommend I treat it?

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  16. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Yes, I think so. It's better to be safe than sorry. It takes 30 seconds to seal the ends.
     
  17. poorman

    poorman TDPRI Member

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    Gil,

    First off, this is a great and much appreciated post.

    You already addressed this to some degree (and you have far more experience than I. I'm a newb) but ideally, shouldn't the blanks be spaced out a little further so air can pass over the "tops" and "backs" so they can breathe a little better?

    Maybe more of an issue with greener or figured woods? You did say these woods are already seasoned.

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  18. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    You can spread them apart if you want to speed up the process.
    I usually prefer the slowest "breathing" time and remember that it also absorbs some humidity on very humid days.
    Slower drying = less warpage and cracking.
     
  19. SixShooter

    SixShooter Friend of Leo's

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    Could paraffin (candle wax) be used as a substitute for beeswax?
     
  20. poorman

    poorman TDPRI Member

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    Excellent point, Gil. Thanks!
     
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